“I’m Jani,” the cute little six-year-old says, introducing herself. Thick curls of blond hair billow from little Jani’s head, tumbling about as she grins up at you. “I have a cat named Emily 54,” she explains, “and I’m Saturn-the-Rat’s baby sitter.” With her apparent penchant for animal camaraderie, it seems only fitting that Jani would want to be a veterinarian when she grows up. “I’m empathetic with rats,” she explains. The use of words such as “empathetic” exhibits a captivating–if not curious–intelligence for a child her age; when asked about the meaning of the word, Jani explains that, “It means you like rats.”

If what Jani describes sounds strange, it’s not merely because of her superior intellect; in fact, most of the animal friends she regularly claims to interact with don’t really exist. Though many children her age describe having imaginary friends, Jani’s interaction with dogs, birds, and other “pets” seem powerfully real to her, because she suffers from schizophrenia. “Sometimes I wonder,” Jani’s mother wonders aloud. “Is she seeing stuff that really is there, and it’s just we’re not seeing it?”

Over the years, there have been a handful of others who have asked questions similar to the honest probing of Jani’s mother, taking into consideration whether schizophrenia, as an illness, harbors more within its mystery than modern medicine has managed to explain. One of the most recent assessments of the condition appears in an article in Discover Magazine, seeking to explain schizophrenia as a virus rooted in the DNA of its victims. “Schizophrenia has long been blamed on bad genes or even bad parents,” the article reads, citing “cold mothers” (emotionally cold, rather than physically chilly) as one perceived reason for the eventual development of the disease. However, a growing group of scientists say this is hardly the case. “The real culprit, they claim, is a virus that lives entwined in every person’s DNA,” writes author Douglas Fox. However, there are lesser known alternative theories that link schizophrenia to far more than just inherently human components like DNA: in this case, it may even have to do with a psychedelic compound produced within our bodies called DMT.

One study involving theories linking DMT and schizophrenia was related in the journal Psychopharmacology, Volume 47, Number 1, in an article called “Dimethyltryptamine levels in blood of schizophrenic patients and control subjects.” In the study, dimethyltryptamine (DMT) levels were measured in the blood samples of normal “control” individuals and schizophrenic patients. “The results appear to suggest that the mean DMT level was higher in the total patient group,” the study said, although patients with acute psychosis, as well as female participants and patients suffering from “suspiciousness scores on the BPRS of 4 or over” were not found to be statistically significant. Similarly, studies were conducted in the 1950s with schizophrenia patients, during which they were administered DMT to measure similarities between the

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Author: Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, and podcaster. His interests include areas of history, science, archaeology, philosophy, and the study of anomalous phenomena in nature. He can be reached at info@micahhanks.com.

16 Replies to “Causal Multiplicity: The Science Behind Schizophrenia

  1. Schizophrenia the result of a DNA virus, eh? I remember reading a while back that it could be the result of an allergy produced by cat’s hair! which would explain the emblematic “crazy cat lady” syndrome 😛

    It probably won’t be as easy as that. Specially since geneticists have had to admit that decoding the human genome has not brought us *any closer* to the promised miraculous cures of cancer and Alzheimer’s.

    And the reason for this is that the human epigenome

  2. Evolution is the creation of a mutant and through the process of “survival of the fittest” allows the improved mutations to survive. The human species is still evolving and we need to realize that the brain is still evolving also. Unfortunately some evolutionary mutations are not in a positive direction and fortunately they seldomly survive the fitness test. However, there are some mutations that quite possibly may in fact be in a positive direction and mankind in his ignorance fails to acknowledge them. It is possible, I believe, that some, but certainly not all, of the entities that schizophrenic patients are seeing actually are present in their reality. Afterall no one actually sees what is real, it is the brain that filters out and interprets the inputs of it’s sensory organs. It tells us what is there. A brain with a positive mutation could interpret it’s reality in a different way than normal people do, that does not mean it’s wrong. One good example of this is the simple geometric shape of a Mobius strip. It is a loop of paper that at first glance appears to have two flat surfaces, but in fact it has only one. There are also many other optical illusions I could mention that our brain mistakenly interprets as being real. That is our reality, not necessarily the right reality.

  3. Red pill Junkie,
    Methinks your thinking of the parasite that lives in cat feces that scientists are saying may cause some forms of schizophrenia.

    This is such a fascinating subject I wonder if the researchers did anything like write a question on a paper go into the next room and ask the “entity” only to follow and then ask the patient to have the “entity” tell him/her what the paper says and tell it to the researcher.

    I wonder if our brain is a frequency and a little more of one chemical or another “tunes” to another station or at least in between stations since patients can see both. And why do people who’ve used DMT claim to see these darwfs and little furry talking balls or little people? It’s just too coincidental I am thinking we can tune into other “realities”. Awww how I love science!

  4. RPJ,

    I think we corresponded about this previously, but to bring the conversation here into the open for discussion, I have no knowledge of Dr. Moody conducting experiments with schizophrenic patients. My initial guess would be that this sort of thing would be considered somewhat hindering in a clinical setting (i.e. the hallucinations may render any visual anomalies appearing in a mirrored surface indistinguishable from those resulting from the condition itself).

    This, however, brings to mind two interesting points: 1) To my knowledge, Moody’s therapeutic use of the psychomanteum for grief counseling was both clinical in a fashion, in that it was used for aiding his patients, as well as casual, in that Moody considers the phenomenon purely psychological, and never attempted to monitor participants during their sessions. Does the casual nature of the experience lessen concern over whether one’s condition (especially if they were schizophrenic) may influence the outcome, should a psychomanteum session ever be monitored? 2) The studies I included in the article above knowingly induced hallucinations using dimethyltryptamine, for the apparent purpose of comparing those delusions with the hallucinations schizophrenics were reporting separately. Therefore, I don’t see why bringing a patient into a controlled setting involving a psychomanteum would be lacking in merit, due to the similar nature of the inquiry.

    Mfritz, good points about mutation as well! If anything, mutation is, to some degree, the essence of our evolution, and as humans engage new understanding of our space around us, we are seeing the continuation of our knowledge and adaptability as a species. This inherently must involve a bit of mutation, too!


  5. DMT is the hormone released by our pineal gland when we sleep and dream.There is some water in the gland that have been documented to dissappear and reappear(2012 enigma,david wilcock,see on youtube).The water disappears into another reality and comes back, the reality where our soul goes when we dream.If DMT gets increased by hyper-brain wave function due to inteigent work overload,then it opens up th dream sphere reality during th day in the awake state, creating “out of this reality” episodes.However, a weak and confused person, with access to this realm , could attract negative entities from other realms, and then could occur:possession as well as opening of other spheres in our brain, opening up new senses for parallel realities.

  6. I had a stint with some kind of physcosis many years ago. I was under a great deal of stress, and it triggered something so opposite of my self. I was terrified for a year, and I had night fear, because everything inside of me bad would come through. I thought really I was going insane. I was treated with an SSRI and have taken them ever since with little or no reactions to the things earlier. I am an executive with a very high visual position, and I can tell you that I was reduced to nothing when this all happened. I had a great shrink, and she got me through it. My heart out to anyone who is in an altered state driven by god knows what alchemy inside of our minds. Truely grateful to be myself again.

  7. Leander T Ellis M.D., a psychiatrist in Philadelphia, Pa.,(not to be confused with his son of the same name practicing in the same city) has found that many schizophrenics have massive whole body yeast infections. Someone in my family benefitted spectacularly from his therapy.

  8. Yeah schizophrenia definitely seems more based on epigenetics and diet — essentially from what I read of the Discover article there’s 5% of this retrovirus in most humans but then 25% of the retrovirus in schizophrenics — but the question is how much of this “junk DNA” as retrovirus is being activated. So the brains are being studied for RNA produced from the retrovirus “junk” DNA — to see if it’s been activated or not.

    Epigenetics shows that diet and stress can inhibit or activate genes. Schizophrenia is usually considered to be a condition of too much dopamine — and too much dopamine also causes violent behavior. So grain-based alcohol has opiates which activate the dopamine receptors – then overtime there is too much dopamine in the brain with also damage of the dopamine receptors. So grain-based diets have been linked to schizophrenia, especially lots of grain-based alcohol intake. This would also explain the “yeast infection” source for schizophrenia. But other diet considerations will also artificially over-activate the dopamine — salt, refined sugar, omega 6 inflammation from corn-fed meat and dairy, etc.

    In contrast some food acts as a MAOI — like nutmeg — which then enables more of the melatonin to turn into DMT. The melatonin is made from serotonin — and there’s an inverse relation of serotonin to testosterone while dopamine is made from testosterone. So at first there’s a synergistic effect of serotonin and dopamine but then there’s an inverse ratio of serotonin to dopamine.

    Anyway the difference between shamanic visions versus someone just being schizophrenic — well DMT is, again, made from serotonin, whereas too much dopamine for schizophrenia would mean that the testosterone is not being turned into serotonin. This regulatory dynamic works through the vagus nerve for relaxation — the parasympathetic nervous system. It’s somewhat complicated to get into but the shamanic training focuses on increasing the DMT via continual relaxation of the testosterone.

    The epigenetics angle is interesting to consider in relation to our primate cousins – the bonobos and the chimps. So it was recently discovered that male chimps have a high testosterone reaction to stress which then leads to violence via dopamine. Some male humans also react like this with increased testosterone to dopamine but bonobo males have increased cortisol reaction to stress and most male humans also have increased cortisol. Male bonobos are not violent in contrast to male chimps.

    Anyway it was argued that male bonobos, genetically, can not really learn human language but then this was proven wrong — so then it was argued that humans can do the pointing gesture but genetically bonobos could not. Again — proven wrong — if bonobos are raised in a human environment they can both learn human language and to point like humans. The point being, again, that epigenetics trumps DNA and in turn this lesson of epigenetics can be applied to schizophrenia.

    Dan Eden at viewzone.com has a great new article on DNA biophoton research — it’s best to think of DNA as an antenna and amplifier for holographic light energy. This light vortex is what is tapped into for the DMT trip — which I tested against my third eye full lotus qigong shamanic healing training. So if you really study DMT it’s not necessary to see other beings or spirits, etc. There’s another realm of DMT which is even deeper — it’s called DMT Hyperspace (Terrance McKenna made this distinction, for example). I call the DMT Hyperspace the “rainbow vortex of reality” whereas in shamanism it’s the rainbow astral body of light. Science calls the DMT Hyperspace the biophotons made from quantum diffraction gradients.

    O.K. so basically for the shamanic vision training the pineal gland is permanently transformed so it can be flexed or focused and then it works as a piezoelectric transmitter of electromagnetic healing energy. This energy is transduced via the vagus nerve lower body electrochemical emotional energy — the hormones are turned into neurotransmitters which create light visions.

    But science states that psychotropics work by over-riding the thalamus inhibition of the normally subconscious direct perception information. So normally the thalamus works with the prefrontal cortex to screen and compare the subconscious primary perceptions, and then the brain creates our perceptual reality. But if you do the shamanic training you can already, using your prefrontal cortex, over-ride the thalamus — again this is the flexing of the pineal gland. So you can therefore over-ride the usual spirit visions induced by the psychotropic drug which the normal person sees as their thalamus inhibition is taken over by the drug.

    So instead of seeing the drug induced subconscious visions the shaman can just directly access the deeper, more primary DMT hyperspace of the biophoton energy — which is the astral holographic body. The same over-riding of visions produced by dopamine stress would also not occur in shamanic vision healing.

  9. I think DMT is the wrong compound to look for,for those not familiar with psychedelics it might seem logical to think psychedelics are similar to schizophrenia,but this is not the case,i have done multiple hallucinogens and read about many more and have also read about the symptoms of schizophrenia,and although it is tempting to blame schizophrenia to the dmt produced in the brain(i’m not sure about it,but i recall it wasn’t really proven it is produced in the brain)the symptoms of schizophrenia have a lot more in common to the effects of dissociative hallucinogens like PCP,nitrous oxide,ether,ketamine and DXM,especially PCP as the delusions suffered under the influence from PCP have a striking similarity to the symptoms of schizophrenia.
    Psychedelic hallucinations are from a quite different nature,so perhaps neurologists should search for a dissociative produced naturally in the brain

  10. @ slj ; you can also loo at it from another perspective, i had the same knd of ituation, i learned that my superficial persona was out of touch with other aspects (shadows) of myself, it can be a necessity for the healing and reintegrations of your psyche…

    the ssri’s hold the process back, they help you maintain others needs for you and fulfill your role.

    things happen for a reson…

    wish you the best..

  11. Yes, I think someone has come up with something that might just help as I am friends with a number of schizophrenic sufferers who live in a home and they get too much starch in the form of bread in the home and their condition is less prevalent when they go away for a while. Unfortunately the more bread they get the more they want, I’ve seen this happening all the time.

  12. Steve,

    You bring up some interesting points… and you are correct, so far as I know, that DMT has not been proven to originate in the brain. What we do know, however, is that it is created somewhere in our bodies, and that one of its close chemical cousins, melatonin, is produced in the brain (specifically the pineal gland). Though Melatonin isn’t psychoactive itself, large doses can cause dramatic increases in vivid dreams and, as I report in Magic, Mysticism and the Molecule, even nightmares. Studies also show that melatonin production increases when a person is using psychoactive drugs, such as marijuana or LSD.

    Many individuals who have taken substances like DMT report differences in the experiences, based on how it is taken into the body. For instance, if DMT is taken orally with the inclusion of MAO inhibitors (such as with a few types of Amazonian ayahuasca that have psychoactive components), the manner in which the “trip” is described differs from that of a person who might smoke it. The latter of these two methods, according to fellows like Daniel Pinchbeck, is closer to the kind of experiences those in Dr. Rick Strassman’s studies reported (who received their doses in controlled amounts via injection, I believe).

    Taking all this into consideration, it stands to reason that, perhaps, an indogenous release of DMT into the bloodstream from someplace in the body (be it the brain, the pineal gland, or even from other neuroreceptive areas where another of DMT’s cousins, serotonin, tends to be prevalent), perhaps it has a slightly different effect in this circumstance, too.

    Which brings me to Loretta’s comment… I’m very interested in the studies that indicate full-body yeast infections, as well as the consumption of too much starch, have been linked to schizophrenia. How does this piece fit into the puzzle, and furthermore, might it derail the argument that DMT could be connected to schizophrenia? Or, might it somehow fit in alongside it?

    One final point: there is another substance, produced in the human body (and present within the brain), called adrenochrome, which is also believed to have psychoactive properties. This has been suggested as another possible source for hallucinations schizophrenics suffer from; its effects can similarly be offset according to some pharmacologists through the use of substances like niacin and Vitamin C, which in proper amounts will generally cause a reduction in adrenochrome produced in the brain. For more, see the link below:


  13. I think the DMT is not being expressed in a normal fashion since there isn’t as much blood to the front part.

    I think they know the answer, and they aren’t sharing for ethical reasons because we’d all live forever, be geniuses, etc. Within a few generations, it would be cheap enough for the average man of developed nations and we’d be like the jellyfish population. Eventually, you’ll see people agree to “missions” to live longer and stuff, like go to the moon and drill (pointless). Hell is a place on Earth. You go to heaven when you die.

  14. I am currently doing a research paper for my abnormal psychology college course on the link between natural levels of DMT present in the human body and those suffering from schizophrenia. All of this is extremely interesting and if you have any scholastic sites that I could find articles on, that would be amazing.
    Also, what does everyone think about Louis Wain?


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